Jump directly to the Content

Leader's Insight: Rabble Roused

How can I minister to complainers when I'd rather give them the boot?

When the Hebrews left Egypt to begin their difficult journey through the desert to the Promised Land, they brought "the rabble" with them. These were not true believers in this journey or in the God who called them to it. The rabble's toleration for discomfort was low and their capacity for complaint was high, always an unfortunate combination.

All the pastors I know would love to get rid of the rabble in their church. The dopey thing is that the rabble keep threatening to leave if we don't service their needs. "If you don't get a better youth pastor in here, we'll just go to another church." Why do they think that's threatening? "So go," I want to say. But the rabble never leave.

There is a holy purpose for the rabble. Their complaining places the pastor in the awkward position of standing between the people and the God they cannot see. The grace of that awkwardness is that it forces the pastor to pray, looking for the One who is present but not apparent.

Through most of the wilderness journey, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

October
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
How to Spend the Day in Prayer
How to Spend the Day in Prayer
A day alone with God may be your most important appointment.
From the Magazine
Negligence Is a Deadly Sin
Negligence Is a Deadly Sin
The Bible is consistent in condemning shortcuts that hurt others. And they’re rife.
Editor's Pick
What We Lose When We Livestream
What We Lose When We Livestream
Do our online viewers truly realize what they’re missing?
close